Imagine this: you’re writing an email when you come to that word, the word you can never remember the exact spelling for. Is it affect, or effect? Which spelling means what? Is there really a difference?

This all too familiar situation happens to everyone; there are some pairs of words that seem like they exist purely to trip us up. But with our handy list below, you’ll soon be an expert on which word to use when!

Affect vs. Effect

  • Affect is a verb, meaning to have an effect on or influence.
  • Effect is thus a noun, meaning anything brought about by a cause. Think “side effects” to remember this one!

Lie vs. Lay

  • Lie means to recline or rest on a surface; usually a person lies down.
  • Lay means to put or place something on a surface; usually an object uses lay.

It’s vs. Its

  • It’s is contraction, meaning “It is”. If you’re using this, the sentence should make sense with “It is” spelled out.
  • Its is a possessive pronoun, showing belonging.

i.e. vs. e.g.

  • The abbreviation i.e. is used in place of “in other words” or “that is”.
  • The abbreviation e.g. is used in place of “for example”.

Keep this guide bookmarked and you’ll never type the wrong word again!

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